I put a tack on teacher's chair, somebody snitched on me... in today's crazy world that would land you with an assault charge

"... I put a tack on teacher's chair, somebody snitched on me!  I tied a knot in Susie's hair, somebody snitched on me!"

- lyrics to the old Christmas tune "Nuttin' for Christmas"

Yes, it's only the first week of September but I woke up with this Christmas tune playing in my head.  I had a couple cups of morning coffee, checked emails and some ransom news when my mind played the "I put a tack on teacher's chair" line again.  On a whim, I decided to put that into a search engine.  What I got was stupidity of the human race again.

A prank pulled by numerous children for years (and years and years) and made famous by a holiday song sung by a billion people through the years now is treated as if it's an ASSAULT CHARGE.  Yep.  No longer is a prank a prank.  So although I can't remember who put a tack on MY chair a few times as a kid, I can tell you it left no lasting marks, did not cause me to have to have my butt removed by surgery for some huge infection and I certainly never ever (ever!) equated sitting on a strategically placed thumb tack and assault.  And I still don't. 

What has this stupid country become?  A nation of idiots.

Example of one return search:  http://www.justanswer.com/criminal-law/4o3h5-girlfriend-s-son-8th-grade-yesterday-made.html

My girlfriends son is in 8th grade. Yesterday he made the

My girlfriend's son is in 8th grade. Yesterday he made the mistake of putting a thumbtack on his teacher's chair. Now the teacher, backed by the union, are planning to press assault charges. I know that her son's actions were an egregious error in judgement, but are criminal charges appropriate in answering a school prank. I think it was more of an assault on her dignity than anything else. I've been searching for similar situations on the web and haven't found much, so I'm posing this question to you in order to get a better understanding of what to expect from this situation.

I'm surprised (although not that much) that the teacher and the union are willing to escalate what is a cliched prank (a student putting a tack on the teachers chair) to a criminal offense. Now this might be a sign of a zero tolerance policy, but it seems to me that the school district has a lot to lose in this situation as well.

 Technically speaking, it is assault.
 He could be tried in juvenile court for assault, and ultimately would probably be forced to do some community service (probably not have to go to juvenile detention, but that is possible).
 Now if I were you (or his mother) I would contact the school principal and the school district and see if there's some sort of administrative penalty that could be worked out (such as detention, etc...)
 Let them know that if the teacher presses charges, that you'll have to get an attorney and go to the press, as this action would be an outrageous overreaction.
 Yes, his actions were a lapse of judgment, and there needs to be punishment, but the punishment should fit the crime. There's absolutely no need to file criminal charges for what is nothing more than a classic, cliched student prank. (this is what you can argue).